- The Washington Times - Friday, July 28, 2000

The property is a beautiful country estate in Potomac listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Certainly the acreage must date to a land grant from centuries past, but owners Tim and Kristin Junkin date it to a poker game in Cuba during World War I.

At least that's the story they heard from a neighbor shortly after they bought the house 13 years ago.

The story goes that a sailor named Minnie Hostetler won a chunk of money playing poker in Cuba when he was in the U.S. Navy. He mailed the money to his father in Rockville with instructions to invest it in savings bonds, but his father bought 1,000 acres in Potomac instead.

Years passed, and the story picks up in 1936 when Minnie Hostetler, by then a lawyer, sold half the land to his law partner, Edward Beale. In 1938, Mr. Beale built the house the Junkins now own on his 500 acres.

It is still known as the Edward Beale House, although it has changed hands several times and the acreage has been divided over the years. The house now sits on nearly 6 1/2 acres. It is on the market for $1.795 million.

The Junkins installed a heated in-ground swimming pool when they bought the property, and they have updated the kitchen and baths, but the house is basically the same as when it was built.

The architecture is Colonial revival, and the house is designed to look like a traditional stone farmhouse with modern amenities incorporated for comfortable living. It has a three-car attached garage with an adjacent tack room. Mr. Beale and his wife, Ruth, were active in the Potomac Hunt, but the Junkins have no horses and have made the tack room into a workshop.

The roof is slate, and the gutters and downspouts are copper. The house has two covered entry porches, one leading to the formal front entry hall and the other leading to a more informal side foyer near the garage that Mrs. Junkin calls a mudroom.

The house has formal living and dining rooms, a first-floor library and a first-floor sun room that the Junkins created by enclosing a screened porch. The sun room has a stone wall and a flagstone floor covered by carpeting. The dining room has double glass doors mounted in a wall of windows facing a rear stone patio.

The large, modern kitchen has a center-island cook top and a breakfast nook and is open to what appears to be a rear foyer with a door to the patio. That space had been closed off from the kitchen as a butler's pantry, Mrs. Junkin said. She and her husband had the wall removed when they renovated the kitchen, but they retained the cabinets and counter that were in the butler's pantry, thus retaining the essentials of the pantry but making better use of the space.

The kitchen has white cabinets and appliances, a built-in desk with bookshelves above, and white Corian counter tops.

Most of the house, including the kitchen, has hardwood flooring. The floors in the entry hall, living room and dining room are the original random-width pegged oak. The house has four working fireplaces in the living room, library, master bedroom and a second bedroom.

The library is paneled in yellow poplar and has built-in bookshelves and cabinets made of poplar.

The house has six bedrooms and 3* baths. It has front and rear staircases and a balcony that overlooks the upstairs hall. The balcony faces a window that lights the formal front staircase where it turns at a landing.

Five of the six bedrooms, including the master bedroom suite, are on the second floor. The Junkins' two children have separate bedrooms, and Mr. and Mrs. Junkin have set up offices in the two additional second-floor bedrooms. The sixth bedroom, on the third floor, has a large adjacent sitting room. The Junkins use it as a guest room. The sitting room has an accent wall of stone that is part of one of the chimneys.

The lower level contains a large recreation room that Mrs. Junkin noted "is good for teen-agers." Her son and daughter "did a big New Year's Eve thing down here," she said. For the adults, a corner of the recreation room holds a temperature-controlled wine cellar with walls paneled in wood from wine crates.

Also on the lower level are the laundry, the utility room and a storage room.

Walls on the lower level are 2* feet thick, Mrs. Junkin pointed out. They are made of the stone of the house's foundation and painted white.

"We have all the original architect's plans" from when the house was built, she said, and they will be given to the new owner. The new owner also can say he or she is living in a novelist's home.

Mr. Junkin's first novel, "The Waterman," a book about Maryland's Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay, was published by Algonquin Books last year and recently came out in a German-language edition. The review in Southern Living magazine said it is "in the tradition of 'The Old Man and the Sea.'"

Mr. Junkin is writing a second novel, "Good Counsel," scheduled to be published next year. "It's about a Washington lawyer who's in hiding down on the Eastern Shore," he said, explaining that he chose the Eastern Shore as the setting for both novels because "I grew up down there" in Oxford, Md. The second book, however, is set in the District as well.

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